Historian: Bagpipes history mostly hot air

Historians in the News

A Scottish historian says the Highland bagpipe and the traditions, history and legend surrounding it were 19th century inventions.

While the bagpipe has ancient origins and a long history in Scotland, pipers did not play as the clansmen went into battle or at the funerals of Scottish chieftains, said Hugh Cheape. His book on the bagpipe is soon to be published by the National Museums of Scotland, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"The written and received history of the great Highland bagpipe reflects in many of its parts the triumph of sentiment over fact," he said.

The earliest known bagpipe is depicted on a 3,000-year-old Hittite carving found in Turkey. Similar instruments spreads around the Mediterranean and into the British Isles, including Scotland.

After the Highland Scots were defeated in 1745 at the Battle of Culloden, expatriates began weaving myths about their homeland. In the early 19th century, two Edinburgh pipemakers created the great Highland bagpipe -- and the rest is history.
Read entire article at UPI

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